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Full text of "History And Human Relation"

OFFICIAL HISTORY: ITS PITF4LLS AND CRITERIA
In the volume of the Gooch and Temperley documents
relating to the crisis of July, 1914* are some minutes,
reproduced in particularly small print, which provoked
considerable controversy from the start, and have had a
significance which is only likely to grow. Quotations
from one or two of these occur on pp. 212-3 below.
If they had not been printed (as they might well not have
been) they would hardly have been missed; for when a
volume of selected documents is in question the mind is
hardly likely to have any impression of the things that
are being withheld. If an official historian were to have
excluded these* as unimportant, he might have been
sincere in his judgment, but the loss would have been
great, for we have to consider the case of those people
who have in fact made a different valuation of them—
we have to consider that some historians at any rate have
found great significance in these documents. If we
should be told that only a selection of these minutes
were printed in the volumes relating to the First World
War, and that a larger reproduction of them would alter
our view of events, then this would be an argument
for giving us more of them—an argument at any
rate for opening the document^ to the free play of
scholarship. It cannot be denied that the policy of pub-
lishing the minutes attracted great attention and earned the
special gratitude of scholars at the time. If there were
ever to be any new publication of Foreign Office
documents the inclusion of the same kind of material
was bound to be the chief controversial issue which the ,
enterprise would raise.

Such minutes are not being reproduced in the further

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